Monday, January 12, 2004


I received when I returned from work (ye gods, how I hate that place), finally, the Email with my registration code for PokerTracker. Since I played a mere 800 hands yesterday, there was a LOT to import. The 1500 ring-game hands I've now got into it are beginning to show patterns: particularly, my worst hands, as a group, seem to be Ace-middle. My WORST hands are:

But then, five of the next seven worst hands for me are A3s, A5o, A6s, A7s, A8s. Looking at the detail, it seems I'm taking too many flops with these. Not all of them are blind hands, and really I'm not playing a lot of them through, I'm just tossing in a bet or two and then folding. Bleeding off chips. So: Play fewer A-middle and A-little.

I had another thought about hands like KJs. Actually, I might be imitating others' thought here, but I did come up with this on my own. I don't think I'm taking position into account as much as I need to be with hands like these, particularly late in a tournament, when playing a hand at all puts a significant portion, perhaps more than half, of your stack at risk. Very late in a tournament, even an average stack is essentially all-in if he's going to play a hand to the river.

Which brings me to my thought: I've generally raised with hands like KJs (KQs, QJs, and generally KQo, KJo, QJo) even in early position. Then, if I didn't catch, I'd bet anyway, representing a big pair. The problem is that if my opponent does catch, he won't go away to my initial bets on succeeding rounds, unless the flop looks very scary indeed (when I can't bet anyway). So it's probably wise to merely be limpin in with those hands, calling a potential raise, and letting the other guy have the lead. Bluffing, or maintaining your strong profile, then becomes less important, and you can repop when you make your hand, and take any free cards offered you without showing weakness.

However, this doesn't apply if you are late enough to be able to buy the button. Then, if you don't catch, you're likely to get a free card or two thru people checking to you, if you raise preflop.

My net answer: raise less in early position with big cards other than AKs and maybe AKo preflop.


Played another satellite to the Friday Special, this a super $9+1, one in 24 got seats to the Friday Special $200+15. I checked: if you already had a seat, they'd just pay you the $215. There were 250ish players; the top 11 got seats. I went out REALLY early through play of hands like I described fitfully above, in the first 20 or 30 out. Gil, though, made it to 22d despite less than perfect play. I consider that to be "on the bubble" even though only the top 14 actually got anything, and congratulated him.


Dylan "DylanBaker" Baker, he of the well-chosen nickname, whom I played Civilization II with online before that became a really old and ancient and decrepit game, rejoined PartyPoker last night, and sat a $1/$2 6-ring with me. PokerTracker reports that he was down $6.75 in the 111 hands I played against him, and that I netted $4 from him. The best hand he showed was, surprisingly, 43s, which he played from the cutoff and only the blinds were in. Hey, I was one of the blinds! He took $4 from me! The bastard ... I'll get him. I'll, umm, order a pizza to his house. He lives in Washington somewhere ... they should be able to find him. (You see, in this country, sending food to somebody is considered a very funny trick.)


One of these days I'll post about how much I hate Lowes. I actually sat on my bed for twenty minutes this morning trying to decide if I wanted to go to work or just quit. Damn, I don't like not being good enough to turn pro.